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Mowing Cereal Rye for Straw

Mowing Cereal Rye for Straw
By Andrew Frankenfield
 
Depending on the planting date and your geographic location, it is time to cut rye for straw if you haven’t done so already. Ideally it should be cut at early flowering to maximize yield and still allow another crop to be planted in a timely way. As most of you already know, the demand for straw is high with prices at auctions in southeastern Pennsylvania topping $300/ton currently. With the yield potential of 2-3+ tons per acre, rye straw can be a profitable crop with limited inputs and still allow another cash crop to be planted after harvest. It is common to see soybeans or vegetable crops such as sweet corn or pumpkins planted after rye or even a summer forage crop. One of the challenges with rye straw is that it comes at a time when there are many demands on a farmer’s time, such as corn and soybean planting and hay making, just to name a few.
 
14-day precipitation history; most of the state has received over 2” and some areas over 4”.